At the beginning of last year, Terri Harper had just started a new job.
The 5-0 super-featherweight boxer was not earning enough money from the sport to make a living and so entered employment for the first time in her young life.
Harper remains unbeaten now after ten pro fights
Her new place of work? Denaby Fish & Chips.
It would not be a long-term gig.
Inside the ring, 2019 turned out to be a breakout year for Harper, as she picked up the lesser-regarded IBO belt and then signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom.
By November, she was fighting on her idol Katie Taylor’s undercard and, by February 2020, she defeated Eva Wahlstrom to become a fully legitimate WBC world champion.
Harper told Sky during a visit to her old workplace after the win: “This is where I started, my first job, just over a year ago.
“It’s just crazy to think that I’ve come from obviously working in the chip shop.
“Sometimes I’d come in a 5am peeling potatoes just for a bit of extra cash.
“Those were the days and that’s what’s made me who I am today.”
Harper is now the WBC super-featherweight champion
Now, the world appears to be Harper’s oyster as she heads into her first defence against Natasha Jonas on Friday night.
The affable Doncaster champion has received nothing but praise from her old heavyweight gymmate Dave Allen.
Allen told talkSPORT.com: “Terri lives down the road from us, she’s in the next village from me.
“Lovely woman, the nicest woman ever to be honest, just a lovely girl.
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Just watched @terri_harper96 spar, man or woman one of the most talented fighters I’ve seen, self belief and time she will win it all x
A post shared by David Allen (@whiterhino_21) on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:53am PDT
“I’ve known her since she was about 12/13 when she started amateur boxing, I was in the gym.
“I think I was still an amateur boxer at the time. She was a great amateur, she had some time out of the game.
“We train in the same gym. I’m lucky enough to see her train twice a day and she’s a fantastic fighter.”
Taylor holds all four major lightweight world titles
Allen concluded: “I honestly think she will be the woman to beat Katie Taylor, she’s that good.
“And I’m not just saying that because she’s from down the road, I’ve never seen a stronger person in my life. She’s so strong, athletically she’s so gifted.
“I back her to beat every super-featherweight in the world, I think she’ll beat every lightweight in the world as well. I genuinely think she’s that good.
“She’s 23 years old, I think in three or four years’ time she’ll be the pound-for-pound greatest woman boxer in the world.”